I think atheism is on the rise because Christianity was replaced by science as the source of the answers to the important questions in life. I think Rousseau was right when he said that the people who passed for philosophes in his day would have been League fanatics a century before that, not that they would know it. So also today. It's difficult to persuade people of Christianity when their aims in life gravitate around comfortable self-preservation...
Now, as for the other way around, atheism by itself does not necessarily offer much. Atheism combined with science, however, offers all the power of science & none of the backward-looking habits of Christianity. Consider how different invention & memory are...
Sounds like you need to combine Christianity with science then.
It depends on how one defines 'atehism' which is a function of how one first might define "god".
If one subscribes to a given faith that has a "God being" in it that is a self aware, that is "made in the image of man' as the god or gods , such as in Chritianity, Judaism or other such religions then anyone not a 'beliver' of the given faith is either a "pagan', 'idolater' or 'Infidel' , or "atheist" from that perspective.
But from more objective stand point I feel the term 'atheist' simply refers to one who does not accept the concept of a "being" as a god or an 'self-awre allmighty force being' but sees instead a ' universal process'. I do not belive that 'gravity' for example is 'self-aware' or a 'being'. But it clearly exists and is part of the Universal Process.
Mankind tendsto naturaly cast his gods in his own human image of coroporal existence as that is all he knows really so a God Man, or God Being is easier to visulaize.
Of course the problem here is that a God Being cast in man's image has the irrational elments of man too. So the gods that reulkt have the failings and limitations of Man too, as in emotions such as Jealousy, Anger, Vengance,Cruelty and intentional destruction. While this is illogical, it is the way most religions work, casting god as self aware being like man, just an 'omnipetent version'.
Science itself is, or at lest can surely be seen as a "theism' itself. It is philosophy of finding and knowing the Universal process and truth of things.This is the "Philosophy of Science' itself. I taught a course at the University of Texas nearly 40 years ago on this topic.
Oddly enough at present, there is a contraversial movement among some sceientists to further recognize the theism of science as we further quantify that universal process. This has lead a small group of M theorists (especially in GB) to see a "god' of sorts in the Universal Process.
This is not a conventional 'self-aware being' type god as is popular throughout our history but 'god' in another way or sense, as a process.
The essence of science, tool wise, is mathmatics of course. So the experiments are not easy at all to set up at this point in the histroy of science. Eienstien with his elementary but breakthrough Realitvistic Physics was lucky that a solar eclipse occured during his time whereby his theory computed the bending of light to the fourth decimal place as was observed during the eclipse. But of course he could not have 'set up' an eclipse as an experiment you see?
Yet much later we were pushing that understanding derived first mathmatically along further into sub atomic particles and using the tools of 'accelerators' and 'super collider's.At first all 'order' and cause effect' continuity seemed to be totaly lost there and we saw only 'radomeness'. No matter how contoleed the experiemnt, we never got the same reult twice.
But as M theory develops further we have made, or some of my collegues would saw 'are apparently on the threshold of making' the Great Breakthrouh, one much larger in scope than the older relativistic physics. Here we are able to 'step back' and see a much larger picture and now we see an order and pattern and calculus for prediction that transcends both the galactic scale and the 'sub atomic' it that it predicts the behavior of both in a single unified theory.
Once person has the mathmatical tools to understand and sort of 'grog' this reality, it is dfficult not to see a 'god' of sorts in all things. Another way to express this is "How did all the Universes all get set up this way?" That question can be also be cast as "Who set it all up like this'?
So science is far from being 'atheistic', nor has it ever been. Eienstien himself was a devote Judaic and said "God does not play dice with the Universe"
For myself I see this "Universal process' at work not just in the way stars are formed, live and die, the way universes come into existence and collapse, etc, but also in the human condition and the process of human behavior.
Then I look at the patterns of behavior that the many relgions establish and often through a prophet, that is a' human envoy' between "god' and mankind but a 'man' himself or a woman herself. Chrsitanity has the figure of Christ here, Islam has Mohammed. etc
Yet they are all saying in essence the same thing, that is exsposing the same theory, about how we should treat one another and even the consequences (predictions of that theory) of not following that universal order.
I have observed that process and behavorial theory at work itself out and display itself too for many years now and thus and show its realty and basic truth. So am I an atheist?
I feel the term 'atheist' simply refers to one who does not accept the concept of a "being" as a god or an 'self-awre allmighty force being' but sees instead a ' universal process'.
Your definition of Atheism isn't accurate... you are confusing Atheism with Pantheism or Panentheism...
So am I an atheist?
No, you are a Pantheist or Panentheist... which fits with your Buddhist worldview...
a prophet, that is a' human envoy' between "god' and mankind but a 'man' himself or a woman herself. Chrsitanity has the figure of Christ here, Islam has Mohammed.
Again, you are confusing Jesus Christ, who is a part of God's eternal triune nature, with so-called "prophets" like Siddhartha or Muhammed, both of whom are still in the grave. Never mind that Buddha abandoned his wife & kids to pursue the selfish quest for "enlightenment", or that Muhammed married a six year old girl among other wives.
Yet they are all saying in essence the same thing, that is exsposing the same theory, about how we should treat one another...
True Christianity is a far cry from how Buddhists & Islamists treat one another... Tibetan Buddhism had its "sex magic" rituals and religious slavery, and Islam has a long history of "temporary marriages", honor killings of women & children, female circumcision, polygamy, and other Sharia laws that are barbaric...
Of course the problem here is that a God Being cast in man's image has the irrational elments of man too.
Here you are confusing the God of the Bible with the capricious gods of pagan Greece or Rome... They were fallen angels pretending to be gods, and displaying their fallen emotional state with their various escapades and demands upon humanity...
Trying to understand God from a humanistic "cultural" or "behavioral" point of view will miss the mark every time... God REVEALED Himself in His Word, the Holy Bible... This was Divine Revelation, not something some Hebrew shepherd astronomers figured out to pass the time while taking the flocks out to pasture...
I can see how pantheism might fit here Eliott, but it is not quite the same as the 'phsilospohy of science' either.
Howevere, I am afraid that your postion boils down to "my god is greater than your god'. Every religious faith of course projects that concept. If this serves you then fine my friend so long as it does not seek to defile others.
No, my position is that the God of the Bible is the only God, all other religious claims to God or gods are false... This has been proven time & again throughout Biblical history (Egyptians, Babylonians, etc). Jesus Christ is the only God to have conquered death & rose from the grave... all other gods were impostors... fallen angels... I do not seek to defile others... I have a burden in my heart for "lost" people, who have been deceived by vain philosophies and doctrines of devils and traditions of men... Everyone who rejects Jesus Christ has defiled themselves, and I seek to show them the Truth while there is still time. The other key difference between True Christianity & false religions is that a true Christian lives to serve the Lord by serving others... whereas followers of false religions seek to have their gods serve them.
no offense but you dont actually believe this, right?
That is in reference to hypocritical judgment...
Spiritual Discernment is referred to in the Bible in:
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
Yes, I do believe what I write, until I am shown evidence to the contrary, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered to write it...
but doesnt a lack of evidence work just as well? and putting the whole burden of proof aside (which belongs to the person making the positive claim), I would think it kind of hard to show any evidence to someone whose starting point is the start of "biblical" history
I've heard that "burden of proof" gambit before. I don't buy it. It always seemed rather convenient to hold your opponents to a higher burden than you hold yourself.
I am a Christian. I acknowledge that my beliefs are beyond proof in this lifetime. To be intellectually honest, the atheist must acknowledge the same. At that point, it becomes a weighing of the limited evidence available -- which is really all it ever has been.
Between two unprovable claims -- such as the existence and non-existence of God -- the burden of evidence rests on the man making the argument.
If you aim to assert that there is no God, state your case. The default is not "atheist" -- the default is "I don't know". The burden is not "Godless until proven otherwise" -- the burden is preponderance of the evidence. Reasonable minds can and do disagree ... but you won't win by default judgment.